18 February 2013, 20:20

G20 renounces currency wars: a little too late

G20 renounces currency wars: a little too late

G20 finance ministers and central bankers have agreed to renounce competitive devaluation of their exchange rates and expressed readiness for tougher financial regulation after a two-day session in Moscow. Experts, however, are skeptical about new measures being able to halt the world sliding into recession.

Analysts noted that the G20 finance ministers were not beaming with optimism but still concealed their concern not to trigger worldwide panic.

"We have not seen any such thing as a currency war. We've heard currency worries, not currency wars," IMF Chief Christine Lagarde said at the forum.

This time, G20’s motto seemed to be restraint, says the head of the Russian Financial Corporation Andrey Necheav.

"I see no serious grounds for currency wars but the crisis made all countries fear national protectionism. Some countries attempted to heal the crisis with money printing and this lead to debt troubles."

Russia which presided over the G20 in 2013, for the first time invited Switzerland to the session.

The country is often blamed for leading a currency war as its National Bank set a ceiling to limit the value of the Swiss franc. Japan did the same with the yen, the favorite currency of traders worldwide.

This makes analysts say that it’s too late to renounce currency wars as they are already in full swing, says Mikhail Delyagin, the head of the Institute of Globalization Problems.

"These wars are being waged for years and everybody seems to have forgotten about their main player - the US. America is great at devaluating its dollar and, thus, hampering other traders. It’s a zero or even a minus-sum game as this time a participant's loss is greater than the other participants’ gain. And the main thing is that the participants keep changing places."

A zero-sum game is a situation in which a participant's gain (or loss) is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of other participants. If the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero while what the global economy needs now is to bring benefits to all the participants.

A final communique issued after the meeting features some dozens of measures to toughen financial regulation, including the soonest introduction of new banking standards, reforming derivatives market and creating the global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).

As for currency wars, it should be noted that some countries are still struggling with their aftermaths, which unfortunately, mostly hit ordinary people who believed in capitalist paradise on Earth.

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